Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MIDSUMMER IN THE CATSKILLS, by JOHN BURROUGHS



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MIDSUMMER IN THE CATSKILLS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The strident hum of sickle-bar
Last Line: Swim in a sea of peace.
Subject(s): Catskill Mountains, New York State; Serenity; Summer


The strident hum of sickle-bar,
Like giant insect heard afar,
Is on the air again;
I see the mower where he rides
Above the level grassy tides
That flood the meadow plain.

The barns are fragrant with new hay,
Through open door the swallows play
On wayward, glancing wing;
The bobolinks are on the oats,
And gorging stills the jocund throats
That made the meadows ring.

The cradlers twain, with right good-will,
Leave golden lines across the hill
Beneath the midday sun.
The cattle dream 'neat leafy tent,,
Or chew the cud of sweet content
Knee-deep in pond or run.

July is on her burning throne,
And binds the land with torrid zone,
That hastes the ripening grain;
While sleepers swelter in the night,
The lusty corn is gaining might
And darkening on the plain.

The butterflies sip nectar sweet
Where gummy milkweeds offer treat
Or catnip bids them stay.
On banded wing grasshoppers poise,
With hovering flight and shuffling noise,
Above the dusty way.

The thistle-bird, midsummer's pet,.
In billowy flight on wings of jet
Is circling near his mate.
The silent waxwing's pointed crest
Is seen above her orchard nest,
Where cherries linger late.

The dome of the day o'erbrims with sound
From humming wings on errands bound
Above the sleeping fields;
The linden's bloom faint scents the breeze,
And, sole and blessed 'mid forest trees,
A honeyed harvest yields.

Poised and full is summer's tide,
Brimming all the horizon wide,
In varied verdure dressed;
Its viewless currents surge and beat
In airy billows at my feet
Here on the mountain crest.

Through pearly depths I see the farms,
Where sweating forms and bronzed arms
Reap in the land's increase;
In ripe repose the forests stand,
And veiled heights on every hand
Swim in a sea of peace.





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